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Meshcheryakova N.N. The causal location of historical chance

Published in journal "History magazine: researches", 2015-5 in rubric "THEORY AND METHODOLOGY OF HISTORY RESEARCH", pages 533-541.

Resume: The existing in historical sciences evolutionary models of historical processes cannot find space within themselves for historical chance, which manifests itself as the activity of a particular person or group, or as a singular fact seemingly uninfluenced by anything. This article substantiates the possibility of applying the methodology of synergetics to the study of events that at first appear accidental, but that had a decisive influence on the course of historical processes. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the heuristic possibilities provided by the use of synergetics in the study of separate historical events. Particular attention is given to the question of how the use of synergetics helps to find the causal place in the general historical scheme of separate, seemingly random events-fluctuations that have significant influence on the course of the historical process overall. The source base for this article consists of the works of Russian and foreign scholars on the subject. The researchs methodological base comprises the comparative historical method and the approach of synergetics. The author addresses the question of which heuristic capacities are provided by the synergetics of history. The author comes to the conclusion that it finds the place of the most difficult problem that of chance. Thus, it is demonstrated how and under which circumstances seemingly insignificant events, new controversial ideas, and persons deviating from norms suddenly come to define the consequent course of history. Synergetics with the aid of its proper methodological instruments and categorical apparatus outlines the logic of events, showing how the growth of entropy, system deviation, disintegration, the rise of autonomous elements lead to a point of bifurcation where the smallest fluctuation that appears accidental can bring about its break-down. What the new system order will be depends on the structures-attractors that form in the environment of the development of the self-organisational processes.

Keywords: entropy, attractor, fluctuation, bifurcation, determinism, nonlinearity, historical chance, synergetics, alternativeness, role of individual

DOI: 10.7256/2222-1972.2015.5.17280

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